In Asia, we are blessed with interesting condiments and spices. So many of our ingredients that spice up our food and lend flavour, are actually good for us. Here are five powerful health-enhancing foods, that don’t seem like health foods, but are terrific sources of minerals and antixoidants. However please note that it is very important to consult your physician before attempting any holistic home treatment.
The 5 Fantastic Health Foods that don’t seem like Health Foods are..
Mustard, is a rich source of selenium, a trace mineral often missing from over-farmed soils, and therefore makes it a great anticancer agent. Mustard helps reduce migraines, and is a natural anti-fungal and antiseptic.Mustard stimulates the appetite by increasing salivation by up to eight times, it has digestive, laxative, antiseptic, and circulative stimulant properties. Mustard contains sulphur, which has been used as a treatment for skin diseases. Mustard plasters or poultices have been applied to the chest to aid in clearing the sinuses and decongest the lungs.
When your mum told you to finish your cabbage, she knew what she was talking about. Raw cabbage is a proven cure for stomach ulcers. It’s also an amazing anti-cancer food with that can help prevent (or even reverse) many types of cancer, as it is rich in indole-3-carbinol (I3C). Cabbage is good for you when cooked (cabbage soup) or fermented (sauerkraut). The fiber-related components in cabbage do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels.
Paprika, Cinnamon, Cloves, Rosemary
Nearly all the pungent cooking spices are actually powerful medicines. Cinnamon, for example, helps regulate blood sugar in diabetics. Cloves contains significant amounts of an active component called eugenol, which have often been used in dentistry in conjunction with root canal therapy, temporary fillings, and general gum pain, since eugenol and other components of clove (including beta-caryophyllene) combine to make clove a mild anaesthetic as well as an anti-bacterial agent. For these beneficial effects, you’ll also find clove oil in some over-the-counter sore throat sprays and mouth washes.Rosemary is a powerful digestive tonic and internal detoxification herb. Ginger is legendary as an immune-boosting, circulation-enhancing tonic herb that’s also fantastic for beating winter colds and flu. Ginger even works to relieve muscle pain. If you like curries then you’d be happy to know that paprika, is loaded with capsaicin, the phytochemical that makes it taste hot. Capsaicin is known as a powerful anti-inflammatory, which can ease chronic conditions like arthritis and joint pain. Capsaicin also helps improve blood circulation, thereby improving conditions like cold feet and hands. Paprika also has plant enzymes that can help neutralize stomach acids and aid digestion.
Shriveled grapes – Raisins
Raisins are a convenient, high energy low fat snack – they are easy to pack, easy to eat and almost never go bad. Like other dried fruits, raisins are available throughout the year. The most popular types of raisins are Sultana, Malaga, Monukka, Zante Currant, Muscat and Thompson seedless. The phenols found in fruit have repeatedly been show to have antioxidant activity and to help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells in the body. The total antioxidant activity of many fruits and vegetables has been found to be exactly parallel to their total phenol content, and raisins rank high, alongside prunes and apricots as an antioxidant-rich fruit. The flavonols in raisins appear to be least affected by the grape-drying process, but raisins do contain fewer phenols than grapes since many of grape’s phenols are largely lost in the conversion of grapes to raisins. Raisins are also very high in naturally-occurring antioxidants, making them a fantastic overall source of nutrition. When consumed with nuts, their glycemic index is slowed, so you should eat them with things such as pecans or walnuts.
Nut over Nuts! Walnuts, pecans, peanuts and more
Twenty-eight grams of walnuts have more antioxidants than the sum of what the average person gets from fruits and vegetables. That is not to say they are a replacement for fruits and vegetables, but they are very antioxidant dense. Walnuts are an amazing natural medicine that helps reduce the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease. They’re very high in natural antioxidants and also help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Pecans boost brain protection and also help lower cholesterol levels. Almonds are a natural anti-cancer agent and even peanuts are now making a comeback as a health food. Raw nuts are best, because heat processing destroys the natural medicine found in foods. Avoid salted nuts because they’re almost always salted with toxic sodium chloride. Avoid “flavored” nuts because they are made with MSG flavor enhancers such as yeast extract or autolyzed proteins.